Biffy Clyro

MTV Un­plugged: Live At The Round­house Lon­don

Classic Rock - - Albums - Emma Johnston

Scot­tish alt.rock he­roes strip it back to the bone.

Most of us who came of age in thrall to grunge hold a spe­cial place in our hearts for MTV Un­plugged, so it’s no great stretch to imag­ine how Biffy Clyro felt when they were in­vited to record their own acous­tic spe­cial. You can cer­tainly hear the care and prepa­ra­tion that has gone into this live al­bum, which, beau­ti­fully ar­ranged and recorded, packs a punch de­spite be­ing sub­stan­tially more del­i­cate than their usual fiery live show.

As is tra­di­tional, there’s a heart­felt cover reimag­ined in the head­liner’s style, in this case God Only Knows

– a song so soaked in mean­ing for front­man Si­mon Neil that he has it tat­tooed on his chest – but it’s the band’s own ma­te­rial that shines, the warm har­monies from the fra­ter­nal rhythm sec­tion of drum­mer Ben and bassist James Johnston bol­stered by a spon­ta­neous choir from the au­di­ence.

Here, the trio have tamed their ex­ter­nal wild­ness to re­veal the beauty and soul at the core of it, and re­vived Un­plugged in the process.

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